Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India
"A readable, elegant translation and introduction to a central work in a neglected area of Buddhist philosophy."---Jonathan C. Gold, Princeton University
Jnanasrimitra (975-1025) was regarded by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists as the most important Indian philosopher of his generation. His theory of exclusion combined a philosophy of language with a theory of conceptual content to explore the nature of words and thought. Jnanasrimitra's theory informed much of the work accomplished at Vikramasila, a monastic and educatinal complex instrumental to the growth of Buddhism. His ideas were also passionately debated among successive Hindu and Jain philosophers.
This volume marks the first English translation of Jnanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion, a careful, critical investigation into language, perception, and conceptual awareness. Featuring the rival arguments of Buddhist and Hindu intellectuals, among other thinkers, the Monograph reflects more than half a millennium of competing claims while providing an invaluable introduction to a crucial philosopher. Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil familiarize the reader with the author, themes, and topics of the text and situate Jnanasrimitra's findings within his larger intellectual milieu. Their clear, accessible, and accurate translation proves the influence of Jnanasrimitra on the foundations of Buddhist and Indian philosophy.
"Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil have given us the best treatment to date of apoha, one of Buddhism's core contributions to epistemology and the philosophy of language, which seeks to account for thinking and language while `excluding' real universals. In addition to their pathbreaking exposition and innovative translation of an early eleventh-century Sanskrit masterpiece, McCrea and Patil demonstrate how historical contextualization, philological proficiency, and philosophical analysis must work together if the astonishing contributions of Indian thinkers to the history of philosophy are to be known effectively."---Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University, author of the Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India
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absence accept affirm or deny apoha appearance apprehended argues argument authoritative text ayam Buddhist epistemologists capacity conceptual awareness conceptually constructed conditionally adopted position connection constructed universals correcting the printed Dharmakīrti’s Pramānavārttika PV Dharmottara difference Dignāga discussion distinct element emending the printed epistemological established evam expressed external object fire Following Ims gaur grasped object individual inferential reasons inferential/verbal awareness iyam JNĀ AP Jñānaśrīmitra katham Krasser mental image Mīmāmsā Naiyāyikas negation ness nonapprehension nonconceptual nondifference NVTT Nyāya object of perception one’s Patil perceptual awareness pervasion positive entity pragmatic effect Pratyaksa produced property possessor punar PV Pratyaksa qualified real thing refer samanyam Sāmkhya Sanskrit philosophical siddham sources of knowledge Steinkellner svalaksanam Svārthānumāna syat tada tasmad tasya tatha tato tatra term text tradition Thakur tion translation Udayana Uddyotakara uktam upādāna Vācaspatimiśra’s valid awareness verse Vikramaśīla visaya word cow words and inferential yadi yatha